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Update on the Morecambe Bay Inquiry into maternal and neonatal deaths

Author: Neil Fearn  Bullet  Dated: 16/09/2014

More than 200 deaths of mothers and babies at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust have been investigated by an independent inquiry (Lintern, 2014).

The Morecambe Bay Investigation looks independently at the maternity and neonatal services in Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (Gov.uk, 2014). The inquiry was set up by the government in 2013 following concerns over a number of maternal and infant deaths between 2004 and 2008 (Lintern, 2014). However the inquiry is now focused on the period from January 2004 to June 2013 (Gov.uk, 2014). The inquiry is part of the Department of Health and is being chaired by Dr Kirkup CBE. The investigation into failings at the trust has examined more than 200 maternal, perinatal and neonatal deaths with more than 50 cases identified for detailed analysis. Each of the cases will be examined and form part of ‘questions to witnesses’. As part of the investigation a list of interviewees has been compiled and interviews are scheduled to begin week commencing 8 September 2014. Only family members can attend the interviews. Former chief nursing officer at the trust - Jane Cummings is expected to be questioned by the investigation team in October 2014 (Lintern, 2014). The report was originally expected in July 2014 but as a result of the significant volume of evidence that has been submitted it has been extended, and the final report is due by the end of this year.

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